How can a mixture of molecules be separated from one another? Laboratories rely on gel electrophoresis to separate a wide variety of samples, from DNA used in forensics and for mapping genes, to proteins useful in determining evolutionary relationships.
Humans are born with five basic senses—hearing, sight, smell, taste and touch. Perform tests to determine the acuity of each of these senses.
Infections and parasitic diseases may be spread from person to person through air, water, and physical contact. Show students how easily germs can spread and emphasize the importance of good hygiene using fluorescent lotion.
The process of DNA extraction is of primary importance in many fields of biotechnology. It is critical for genetic research, DNA fingerprinting, and creating recombinant organisms to produce beneficial products in the field of medicine.
Stare at an object straight ahead. Can you see anything else out of the “corner of your eye”? Seeing beyond the center of our visual field is known as peripheral vision. Explore the range of your own peripheral vision.
Cell membranes help hold cell contents within the confines of the cell. If a cell membrane is damaged physically or chemically, the contents of the cell can “leak” out. In this activity, students can observe the red pigment (betacyanin) after it has left beet cells that have been damaged to varying degrees.
What features distinguish living from non-living things? This demonstration is designed to challenge and provoke students to think about the definition of life. Observe the properties of organisms that a lifeless system can imitate.
Ever bite into an apple and hit a brown spot? What causes apples, potatoes, pears, and other foods to turn brown? Can it be prevented?
Diffusion of water into and out of cells is often demonstrated by treating cells with various concentrations of solutions and then examining them under a microscope. This activity allows students to view changes caused by osmotic pressure using a giant "cell" (chicken egg).
Use this activity to provoke discussion of an important social and health issue. Designed to simulate the transmission of a virus, the activity is based on a color change in a simple chemical reaction.
The membrane of a living cell plays a vital role in regulating what goes into and out of the cell. Some characteristics of cell membranes are discovered in this exercise.
Cells from the lining of the mouth provide an easy source of eukaryotic cells for observation. Plus, cheek cells are a great way to connect textbook drawings and models to life.
How do cell membranes regulate the internal composition of the cell? Use dialysis tubing to teach students the fundamental concepts of diffusion.